IL Ponte – Italy
“A falling tree makes more noise than a forest that’s growing! I prefer not to hear the growing of a forest, rather I focus my efforts to assist those at the tragic moments of their lives!”
– Luca Tagliapietra, Founder of IL Ponte
Everybody is born to be of value!
More than 20 years ago, Luca was still a young man. Based on the belief that “Everybody is born with useful talents”, and in order to help families with mentally handicapped members to work and support their families so that there will be peace of mind, he established IL Ponte. This is a mutual- aid cooperative to package and produce herbal teas. Luca is not just to take good care of those people with disabilities. In his heart, he absolutely believes that everyone must have their abilities, meaning and value in life. As long as they have patience and sincerity, they can also contribute to society!
No matter how hard, we will never give up!
It is not easy for a person with intellectual disability to achieve normal standards and performance. Moreover, the IL Ponte Cooperative accommodates dozens of intellectually handicapped people. In teaching, work arrangement and management, you can imagine the difficulties Luca has been facing. For more than 20 years, IL Ponte has taken care of hundreds and hundreds of people with mental disabilities. Luca has spent all his own family money. With the small subsidies from the Italian Government, Luca still was able to lead those people with disabilities and their families to survive!
However, in recent years, the European economy has been sluggish and the Italian Government’s financial situations have become increasingly difficult. As a result, IL Ponte could no longer receive government funding since many years ago. However, in the harsh economic environment where normal persons would not have the willpower to support it, Luca never thought of giving up any employee. Instead, he felt that the quality of the cooperative’s products should be improved to increase competitiveness, so it concentrated only on organic production. Organic herbal teas, and every link of the cooperative are strictly regulated in an organic operation and management mode.
Today, the herbal tea produced by IL Ponte has not only obtained the European Union’s organic and the highest standard Demeter organic certifications, but also been sold in many countries around the world.